Below the jump. Notes:
- This is the free version, which I am posting, à la Sarah Hoyt, for feedback. It’s ≈6,100 words, so reading time is 15-30 minutes unless you divert to checking the math and science—which is probably something I would do if somebody else were dropping a reading assignment like this on me. If so, consider it extra entertainment value (but see #5, below). Still more entertainment value will accrue to those familiar with a certain educational establishment we should all know, if not necessarily love.
- The paid version will be one story in a collection that is well underway and which I hope to publish by about the end of 1Q23. I expect all the stories in that collection will be science fiction; all the ones I’ve worked on so far are. Most will (unlike this one) be alternate histories.
- The paid version will also have been revised and lightly edited for, among other things, internal consistency and a general … excess of Manifoldness in spots.
- I already have an editor. Publication will, at least initially, be for e-reader devices only.
- This is a work of fiction. It includes fictional devices, in the technological as well as literary sense. Attempts at explaining to me how nonexistent technologies really work may be met with “Sir, this is a Wendy’s.”
- Math corrections are OK, though.
- As no less a personage than David Goldman (“Spengler”) said about his The Quantum Supremacy: An Entertainment, if you have half as much fun reading this as I did writing it, I will have succeeded. (FWIW, I had fun reading TQS.)